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Recruiting OA ceremonialists

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Topic: Recruiting and retaining OA ceremonialists for the whole gamut of inductions ceremonies, call-outs, AOL ceremonies, etc.


I would observe that not everyone is cut out to be a ceremonialist. Though I had a role in the Brotherhood ceremony once (with a few hours' notice), and enjoyed it, a bespectacled, goateed chieftain does not an impressive ceremony make.


Let the discussion begin ...

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Well National did publish a great book on the topic of Ceremonies in 1992 or thereabouts, and one of the things discussed was recruiting members. IT DOES WORK IF FOLLOWED!!!!! (caps for emphasis). I did rebuild a chapter's ceremony team using it to the best of our abilities, and we were great. BUT we did have a numbers problem, as the book wanted 8 folks, and we barely got 6.


A couple of things off the top of my head.


1) Need an energetic, enthusiastic, and knowledgable Coach, whether youth or adult.


2) Gotta ask folks, and ask, and ask and ask and ask. Oh and you gotta ask some more folks ;)


3)6 months is what the book recommended, and I agree with it, as the absolute minimum for getting a ceremony team together. And that does take a commitment


4)Gotta make it fun. I know with AOL/Crossover ceremonies, the fun is getting free food, and the adoration of the Cubs (hey I didn't get this big without eating some good food ;) ) You gotta do some non-ceremony stuff as a group just, as wella s just have an occasional goof off/blooper nite ( towards the end of the 6 months is best IMHO)


More later

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Jet526 mewntioned that it sounded like my team came from one troop, which is mostly true. Our troop has always been highly supportive of OA. The previous Chapter Adviser was from our troop. All of the Chapter leadership and ceremony team come form our troop with the exception of one boy who has gotten involved. Last week, he brought a friend who we hope to get involved. Actually, I had a 1 boy each from 2 troops other than the 1 boy I now have which would have made 3 team members from 3 troops in addition to the rest of the team from my troop. The 2 boys from the other 2 troops decided to join my troop. It really worried me because I have been working hard to get boys from other troops to join. I was afraid the our troop would get the image of using OA to steal boys from other troops. The truth of the matter is that the troops they came from are really struggling and we have a great program. They had been considering a move before they even got involved with ceremonies. One of the issues I have is that having the team from one troop hurts us when someone wants a ceremony on a date the troop has scheduled a campout. I really, really, really want to get out from under the image that the OA Chapter is a part of our troop program, because it is not.


I've had a lot of difficulty getting some of the SM's in the district to buy into OA. When we've worked on scheduling elections, we've highly encouraged the SM to be the adult nominated fro mtheir troop so he can gain an understanding of OA and promote it. Some just flat refuse and say they don't have time to add OA to their schedule. If they won't, their boys won't.


I look forward to this thread because I'm very open to ideas on how to win over SM's, get boys for election and ceremony teams and really get the Chapter ball rolling.


The biggest complaint I hear from boys is that OA is gay. But everything is gay it seems.

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Our troop has 2-3 teams. I can't keep track, they change around. But generally we take two to ordeals. It can be an issue with troop activities. We include the major OA events in our calendar, but that does not always work out. This spring Vigil Weekend is the same as the Camporee & call out.


Eagle92 that list sounds about right. We have a very fun coach who is constantly recruiting scouts. One year we only had 3 scouts elected. If it had been up to him we would have had the election again.


For those in the troop, being on a ceremony team, especially a competitive one, is a status thing. Of the 20 youth members, 16 are active in ceremonies at one level or another. One team took first in Pre-Ordeal at NOAC in 2009 and another made it into the final round in Ordeal. The coach is hoping to field a team for 2012 with all Vigil and Eagle members. Did I mention this is a big deal in the unit?


But it doesn't extend much beyond the troop. There is one scout from another troop that does ceremonies with them. That is it for the entire clan (4 chapters). These are urban or suburban chapters, so transportation is not an issue. Few of the other teams in the lodge can be counted on. I doubt any of them have 8 members. I'd like to help the lodge change this, if only for selfish motives--the guys get frustrated when they are the only ceremonialists that shows up at ordeal.


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